Accies media website reporter Martin McConnell was at NDP on Saturday evening for our game v Rangers, and thanks to Nick McInally who was able to supply the post match quotes now that post match press conferences are much more restricted….
Foys Stadium, New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Saturday 29th August 2020, kick off 5.30pm (live on Sky Sports)
Hamilton Academical 0 Rangers 2
Two early first half goals from pace setting Rangers was more than enough to secure all three points, a sixth consecutive victory and a sixth clean sheet. We now sit in 11th, a point ahead of rivals Motherwell.
Hamilton Head Coach Brian Rice commented, “The first half we showed them far too much respect. We sat too deep and weren’t getting up there in their faces and being aggressive enough. In the second half when we changed it and went man for man. I told them to get up against their man and go with them and make it more difficult for them. I thought the second half performance was decent.”
To make no bones about it, Rangers showed no mercy and Accies had to battle for long periods of the game. On most days Hamilton have given much more against Rangers but come away with much less.
However, despite the dominance over the whole ninety minutes, the difference came down to a five minute spell that saw Hagi and Tavernier force goals over from close range.
Hamilton made three changes to the XI that started against Motherwell last week. Trafford, Mimnaugh and Winter all started, in place of Johnson, Moyo and Templeton. In addition Lewis Smith missed out through injury. The visitors made a single change to their midfield where Ianis Hagi replaced Cedric Itten.
As expected Rangers enjoyed the bulk of possession early on in the game. For their part, Accies seemed to handle their forays forward relatively pain free at first.
Then with fifteen minutes played Rangers went ahead after Barisic cut the ball back for Davis at the corner of the Accies box. His delivery to the back post was then headed off the cross bar by Roofe and forced over the line by Hagi, from two yards.
Within just five minutes they had doubled their lead when Kent made a run down the left, cut inside past his marker before driving a low strike toward the back post. Fulton managed to dive low and save but the Rangers Captain, James Tavernier, was their to pounce on the rebound from four yards.
Rangers continued to dominate with the ball but the pace of their play slowed markedly. Fulton saved a Hagi blast from the corner of the six yard box. Then a sequence of more than a dozen passes saw Martin send the ball wide for Hodson, his shot deflected and was then comfortably gathered by McLaughlin.
Trafford made way for Hamilton at half time, and Rangers started the second half with a renewed sense of vigour that stretched Accies to their limit. Even with a change to a five man midfield, the visitors went marauding their way through. Barker struck the side netting from close range then Jack struck the back post with a half hearted effort before Fulton was able to smother.
Rangers had a penalty shout on 64 minutes when Scott McMann appeared to push Kemar Roofe in the back inside the six yard box. Accies countered with a Marios Ogkmpoe strike, saved by McLaughlin.
A third goal or more looked likely for the visitors. Hagi struck over from the corner of the six yard box before Martin went close but the effort was deflected wide. From Mimnaugh’s corner, Want got a glancing header in front of the near post. McLaughlin earned his money by stopping brilliantly on the line.
The chances continued for the league leaders but lady luck wasn’t on their side. Roofe going closest after heading over from a great Barisic cross.
Skipper Scott McMann received a red card, for a second yellow, in the latter stages.
Accies: Fulton, Hodson, Odoffin, Want, McMann (c), Martin, Trafford (Hamilton 45), Mimnaugh (Munro 77), Winter (C Smith 83), Callachan, Ogkmpoe (Moyo 83). Subs Unused: Gourlay, Templeton, Fjortoft, Owolabi, Johnson.
Cautions: Callachan, McMann
Red card: McMann second yellow.
Rangers: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Jack, Davis, Hagi (Arfield 83), Barker, Kent, Roofe (Stewart 90). Subs Unused: McGregor, Bassey, Patterson, Kamara, Balogun, Morelos, Jones.
Goals: Hagi 15, Tavernier 20.
Referee: William Collum. Assistants: David McGeachie & David Doig. 4th Official: Mike Roncone.